Mentoring can change the arc of someone in Generation Z’s career, and that’s what I recently discussed with 23-year old entrepreneur Austin McCulloh who has been a mentor and been mentored.

Two of the biggest lessons from one of Austin’s early mentors was not to burn bridges and not to take everything personally. If someone cancels a meeting or ends a conversation abruptly that doesn’t mean you should take it personally or get upset with them. It’s better to come from a point of understanding and knowing it’s not always about you, they might have things going on in their life that you know nothing about. You never know how the relationship will develop over time.

Mentoring tip: Why was Austin’s early mentoring relationship successful? His cared about Austin’s well being and made himself accessible. If you want to be a mentor to someone else those are two things to consider before you start mentoring someone.

Austin’s mentors taught him that getting real world experience early one will help your career. Instead of getting a fast food part time job Austin started in the financial services industry as a financial advisor so he could shave years off of his learning curve and get real world experience while he was still young.

Mentoring Generation Z: Give them clarity and support so that they can set productive goals and start moving towards them. Using clear and effective communication can go a long, long way when you’re mentoring other people. “Clear and effective communication” means being honest with the other person and not just telling them what they want to hear. This means being transparent with the other person and definitely not lying just to make them feel better about a situation.

Just giving one or two hours a week to an individual that’s not as fortunate as you are can change the trajectory of their life.

A Great Book

The one book that Austin says you NEED to read? Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate and at one time the richest man in the world, saw something special in Napoleon Hill. He gave Napoleon a 20-year mission to unlock the key to success and then Carnegie opened his rolodex and introduced Napoleon to some of the most successful people of the time (the early 1900’s). Napoleon took what he learned and combined his learnings to create 13 success principles which he outlines in his book.


Having weaknesses is not what makes or breaks you; knowing how to deal with them or not dealing with them does. You’re not going to know what your weaknesses are if you’re not self-aware. At one point during high school Austin’s football coach said something simple and profound “Austin, you’re uncoachable”. And at the time Austin says he was because he wasn’t taking accountability for his own life. Austin remedied that problem by taking accountability for his actions and results in life and becoming more self-aware. He took 30 days off from social media and most social interactions and got to know himself. Once he became more self-aware mentors were better able to help him.

Listen More and You Will Learn More

Practice being intentional – close your mouth and just listen. When you practice that enough you’ll become good at it, even if it doesn’t come over night. For yourself you will learn more and grow faster as a person. When you listen and learn what OTHER people’s problems and pain points are, you’ll learn how you can better help THEM by not making the conversation all about yourself.

Listen In!

Some other topics we cover in this episode are:

  • If you want anything in life, from a mentor to a job, ASK! You’ll learn how to ask the right way
  • How to leverage the Law of Reciprocity to get what you want in life and give others what they want
  • How to ask someone to mentor you
  • How much time to ask your mentors for
  • How to reach out to potential mentors on LinkedIn
  • …and other great nuggets of advice!

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About The Guest


Austin McCulloh’s high energy, strong discipline, and intense drive make him the perfect fit for achievers looking to take their career to the next level.

McCulloh plans to take the company he recently launched – Austin McCulloh Advising – to a billion-dollar business by the time he turns 30. His firm already has ten clients from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania, and McCulloh, who turned 23 on Feb. 22, believes his mind will be the secret sauce for companies on a global level to attract and retain Generation Z employees, as well as develop their young sales professionals. “I see this company becoming the No. 1 human capital consulting firm in the world,” said McCulloh, who lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Austin already has one successful business on his resume. He founded Supercorn Tutoring while he was a business student at the University of Iowa. The company tutored Chinese students over thousands of hours and led to McCulloh hiring several tutors. He ran the business while taking 19 credit hours during a senior year semester, while serving as a licensed financial advisor, tutoring each morning to help grow Supercorn, and serving on the executive board of two student organizations at Iowa: the Financial Management Association and HawkTrade Investment Club.